M23 Vs M23C6

Can Metallurgy contribute to understanding of political geography? By analogy we have grain boundaries rather than national boundaries. In metallurgy, thermodynamics is the driving force depending on interaction between atoms, in politics the fundamental interaction is human-to-human. In both cases the details are complex, and difficult to determine. For atoms there is a fundamental theory which explains the interactions, the Schroedinger equation, but it can only be solved by using approximations. There is no fundamental equation for human-to-human interactions (it’s actually the same one but no one even proposed to solve it for such a complex system).

Back to the scale of grains and countries, national boundaries can move as larger countries absorb smaller countries which is the phenomenon of Otswald Ripening. National boundaries are often along geological features such as mountain ranges, there are pinning the boundaries.

In metallurgy we have new phases which nucleate, these usually form on grain boundaries since there regions are more disordered. Here we can see comparison of M23C6 carbide forming on a grain boundary in steel, to the political group M23 formed in the border region of congo.

M23C6

M23C6

M23

M23

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